Working from home as a mom has its benefits. It means that you don’t have to pull yourself into the office, and that you have more time to spend with your family. However, being a work at home mom can also be very difficult. You are still “on” as a mom, as well as working! It can be really tough to handle this dual role! Here are some tips to help you be successful as a work at home mom!
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Here are 7 tips to help you be a successful work-at-home mom.
1. Get dressed
This may seem obvious, but it is hard to be motivated to get out of your comfortable pyjamas when you know you won’t be leaving the house. Putting clothes on not only builds your confidence. It can also help put you in the mindset that it is time to work, and not time to relax.
2. Create a workspace that you love
When you are working from home, it is important to have a designated work area. This will help you differentiate between work time and relaxation time. If you are working from your couch, it can become very easy to be distracted and turn on the TV. But if you are sitting at a desk where the only thing you do is work, you will know that it is time to concentrate.
3. Decide when you can work & prepare
When you don’t have a toddler running around, it is much easier to set aside time to work. However, when you have a child who needs you throughout the day, it is very important to be intentional about when you will work! For me, I have found working during naps and after my child has gone to bed to be the most effective. This gives me quiet time to work, and allows me to be present with my daughter when I am not working.
If you are working during your child’s nap time, prepare your work station while your child is still awake. This helps you get to work right away once they are asleep. You’ll have everything you need to successfully work for a few hours, without having to go back and forth to different areas of your house to get things. When I am about to work, I have a checklist of things I know I will need. I know I’ll need my computer, charger, paper, pens, coffee, water bottle, and a few little snacks. I make sure I have all of these supplies sitting on my desk before starting to work.
4. Set aside break time
Every hour, I will allow myself to take a 10 minutes for a break. This means I work straight for 50 minutes without distraction. If I am able to do this, I reward myself with 10 minutes of free time. The beauty of this strategy is that usually once I get into my work, it will be a few hours before I feel the need to take these 10 minutes. If I need to take the 10 minutes every hour, I will without guilt. But if I can, I will try to continue working until one of my scheduled breaks. In order to eliminate any temptation from my phone, I will turn my phone on “do not disturb” or will put it in another room where it is not easily accessible.
5. Ditch the guilt
You are a mom that works, and you do NOT need to feel guilty about this. We all do what we need to do for the best interest of our family. Sometimes this means that we have to make work a priority. Instead of feeling guilty for working, remind yourself of why you are doing this. Is it to make money to provide for your family? Does it help to fuel a passion or desire that you have to help others? Is it to give yourself meaning and purpose in your day? Remember why you started this work in the first place!
6. Manage expectations & make a “to do” list
Think about what is realistic for you to get done when you are working from home! You may only have a brief window of time to work during naps and at night, so you need to make sure that you are managing your expectations when it comes to timelines and due dates. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get things done! Give yourself grace when you need it and be compassionate towards yourself!
If you are anything like me, you might struggle with “mom brain” every now and again. This is when we have so many things on our mind that we start to feel a bit scattered, and don’t know where to start! I have found that using an application such as Trello, the ‘Notes’ application on your phone, or writing things down on a whiteboard really help me prioritize my work.
7. Find connection with other adults
Connecting with other adults as a mom is extremely important. Being both a stay at home and work at home mom can leave you feeling like you have no adult interaction. Try and connect with another adult during the day, whether this is through an online community, phone call, or in person community. This will help you not feel so alone, and in turn will make you a better worker and mother.